Quickie Update


I have not been blogging regularly, and I hope you will excuse me for this, but I’ve been sick on and off since before Winter Break. It’s sapped my will to write and some of my creative juices, so I just don’t have much to say. Here is a short update on what little I’ve done:

SMART Board activities from A Mercer on Vimeo.

January is a time for new beginnings, and to start off this year, I’ve gotten the loan of a SMART interactive whiteboard. I’ve had it in the lab for the week. I got the board because a district middle school has gotten a number of them a few years back and want some more support on using them, which I might be doing.

There have been a lot of critiques about how “interactive” these tools really are for students, and whether or not similar tasks could be done with other, cheaper tools (here is a recent thread on this). The biggest complaint seems to center around teachers using it largely for direct and whole class instruction. With this in mind I’ve been using the it as a “center” where I pull back small groups of students, rather than using it for whole class instruction. I model the activity quickly, and then let the kids do it. I’ve also tried to have the kids explain the how-to to the next group. I have no big conclusions at this point.

by posted under reflection, weekinclass | 5 Comments »    
5 Comments to

“Quickie Update”

  1. January 17th, 2010 at 5:31 am      Reply Jenny Says:

    I’m sort of amazed at how the IWBs have become the bad guys in this whole discussion. The decisions about how to use them are still being made by the teachers. It’s an issue about the teaching, not about the tool.

    I can’t wait to hear more of your thoughts about these.

    • January 17th, 2010 at 10:18 am      Reply alicemercer Says:

      Yeah, but we know they’re expensive and if they don’t add much value, that’s a concern? I know many of the folks dinging them would rather have kids getting laptops via a one-to-one. Since Leroy has gone back to school with a new netbook, I’m getting some perspective on that as well.

  2. January 19th, 2010 at 5:16 am      Reply Sue Waters Says:

    Sorry you haven’t been well and I hope you start feeling better soon. Understandably very frustrating for you 🙁

    • January 19th, 2010 at 5:43 pm      Reply alicemercer Says:

      I think I may have turned the corner today (fingers are crossed). Did I see a tweet about you and yours being sick?

      • January 19th, 2010 at 5:54 pm      Reply Sue Waters Says:

        My fingers are crossed for you. Yeah I think I’m just feeling a bit run down and the heat also getting to me.

        Not sure what is the problem with youngest. He has been sick and then suddenly okay again (within hours). Happened twice over the last week. Either a very mild gastro or something else going on.

        So here’s to hopefully you starting to feel a lot better from now on!

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